MEDIA CONTACT:  Diane Curtis   415-538-2028

San Francisco, September 04, 2009 — The offer of pro bono help from the Folsom campus of Intel’s Legal Department couldn’t have come at a better time for the Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California. VSLP had just lost funding for its court-based Probate Clinic, which does a significant amount of work in assisting low-income clients obtain probate guardianships, and Intel was especially interested in doing work that benefitted children.


Working in tandem with the Sacramento office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Intel lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff donated hundreds of hours of help to provide representation in probate court guardianship proceedings.

The Intel team has gone above and beyond the call of duty in working individually with clients and the biological parents involved in guardianship cases, not only to complete the guardianship process but also to obtain other family and social services in order to meet client needs and strengthen support networks,” says Katie DeWitt of Orrick, which is also doing pro bono work with Intel helping staff a bankruptcy intake clinic.

Intel teamFor its commitment and hard work, the Folsom Intel team will receive the State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award in the corporate category. Created in 1983, the award is presented each year in a number of categories to California attorneys and law firms credited with making significant contributions in pro bono legal services to those with little income, as well as to organizations that serve the poor.

Now more than ever, public service-minded California lawyers are needed to bridge the ‘Justice Gap,’”says outgoing State Bar President Holly Fujie. “This year, the bar honors extraordinary attorneys who have helped to do so by giving their time, talent and passion to those who otherwise could not afford legal services. They come from different practice settings but what unites them is their commitment to championing a fair and accessible justice system.”

The Intel lawyers interviewed clients, prepared petitions and supporting documentation, researched legal issues, contacted birth parents and relatives and appeared in court. During 2008, they assisted 10 clients in filing petitions to obtain probate guardianship over minor children. All the clients but one were single mothers seeking to gain legal custody of abandoned or neglected children they had brought into their households in order to stabilize their lives.

“Community service is a part of the essence of who we are as a corporation,” says Bruce Sewell, Intel senior vice president and general counsel, “It’s important for Intel to apply its resources to providing assistance to the families and small businesses our volunteers serve, but it is also rewarding for our employees to be able to contribute at a personal level.”

The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By September 2009, membership reached 223,000.